World Cup 4th Quarter-Final: New Zealand vs West Indies at Wellington
New Zealand and the West Indies have had contrasting World Cup campaigns so far. The Kiwis have not put a foot wrong, storming through the group stage undefeated. Their opponents in this quarter final are fortunate to have made it this far. In the group stage, the West Indies lost to minnow nation Ireland and surrendered in embarrassing fashion against both South Africa and India. Their sole truly impressive display was their thrashing of Pakistan. New Zealand are not just overwhelming favourites to win this match but also heavily backed to make the final. The hype surrounding them is justified, too. They will have home ground advantage until the final, are a clinical fielding side, boast an array of ballistic ball strikers, and have a bowling attack as potent as any going around. The West Indies also possess some game breakers in Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell. But that trio, just like the team they play for, is less consistent than their opponents. Expect New Zealand to thrash the West Indies.
Jerome Taylor vs Brendon McCullum:
New Zealand opener McCullum has been ferocious in his approach to batting at this World Cup. With an astonishing strike rate of 187, the Kiwi has bullied opposition new ball bowlers. McCullum doesn’t need to make a big score to have a major impact on a match. He makes his runs so swiftly that a sprinting half century is enough to intimidate the opposition. New Zealand’s middle order is yet to be fully tested at this tournament and the West Indies best chance of doing just that is by Taylor slicing through their top order. The aggressive paceman is in great nick, having snared 14 wickets at an average of 18 for the tournament.